Review | Bholaa – Lovely Emotional Core Drowned By Action

Bholaa is directed by Ajay Devgn and features Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Amala Paul, and Sanjay Mishra.


In a nut-shell:

Lovely Emotional Core Drowned By Action

A little girl in an orphanage wonders who’s coming to meet her the next morning. She’s never known any family.

A prisoner who’s just been released after 10 years, can’t wait to go meet his little daughter in the orphanage. A little girl he has never seen in his life. The daughter his wife left behind before she was killed.

This emotional core, of sweet little 10-year-old Jyoti (Hirva Trivedi), both bewildered and excited that someone’s coming to meet her, and the pain and longing of laconic Bholaa (Ajay Devgn), is perhaps the best part of this essentially action film.

But the drive from prison to orphanage is pitted with violent obstacles as Bholaa unwittingly finds himself driving a truckful of unconscious high-ranking police officers to hospital. Bullied into it by SP Diana (Tabu), the only one who didn’t have a drink and needs to save her poisoned colleagues.

It’s Diana who’s the main target of several gangs of criminals led by cocaine-snorting Ashoo (Deepak Dobriyal), dangerous to the point of seeming demented. Diana who took a bullet in her shoulder in an encounter with a drug cartel, has hidden in a secret jail, an astonishing consignment of cocaine that was on its way to Ashoo.

Ashoo unleashes all the gangs in the area to go stop Bholaa, Diana and the truck from reaching hospital. And he heads with his men and ammunition to the secret jail to get his prize consignment.

There are moles in the police department, right from senior IPS officer Subramaniam (Gajaraj Rao) to a minion in uniform who pretends to be unconscious in the truck. Subramaniam, with close-ups to show his wickedness, is the man who guides the crazy Ashoo to the wayout police station, an impregnable building built in British times, where Diana has stashed the consignment and jailed the criminals caught with the cocaine.

So there’s non-stop action that alternates between Bholaa-Diana on the road and the police station where there’s only a ready-to-retire inspector (Sanjay Mishra) and a bunch of college kids holding the fort against Ashoo and his gang.

In between is Bholaa’s yearning to reach his daughter.

In a nutshell, an emotional core+action.

However, with an overwhelming and non-stop background score that accompanies half-a-dozen set pieces of violent action where Bholaa battles one grotesque gang after the other (one even turns up with a leopard or cheetah that stops growling and runs away spotting Bholaa), it seems like a never-ending journey. Bholaa may not tire but as it moves from one fight to another and goes into a realm of incredibility, the viewer is certainly battle weary. And, yeah, we know this is in 3D, but will fight composers please stop using the Matrix template of flying bullets shot in mid-air?

A truckful of policemen are unconscious because of a conspiracy. But there’s nary a gun in sight that Bholaa can use and Diana’s too comes out only at once. There are so many points where logic is suspended that it adds to the exhaustion. As just one example, Diana has planted a mole called Raunak, a topper from the police in Ashoo’s gang for two years. But nobody knows what Ashoo’s dreaded brother Nithari (Vineet Kumar) looks like, Raunak who is constantly on the phone to Diana, has never sent her a picture.

Okay, assume he didn’t see Nithari.

In the midst of one of the many fights, when Raunak quietly goes up to Diana and whispers to her to take his gun and fight, why does she loudly reveal who he is to the gang behind him?

Inside the jail, when Tabu (from the road) asks Sanjay Mishra to switch on the video to talk to the criminals she has imprisoned, was it only for them to see her face and not for her to see her prisoners? She merely asks for their names, Nithari’s reluctance to give his raising suspicions on his identity. What stopped him from giving a false name? Indeed, when Ashoo keeps using the word ‘bhaiya’ when talking loudly to the ones behind bars, is Nithari’s identity still such a mystery?

In any case, the unveiling of Nithari, another grotesque close-up, is hardly a major twist or thrill. And the lapses in logic cease to matter.

The dialogues have no bite or wit. Bholaa calling Kadhchi, the catering man, by different names like chamach and patheela is hardly humour. Or Diana abruptly asking Khadchi if he’s had a drink and Khadchi remarking, “Policewale piye toh deshbhakt, Khadchi piye toh bewda?” barely evokes a smile. In his first scene, Sanjay Mishra asking the rickshaw driver if two 50-rupee notes would be okay since he doesn’t have 100, and the driver saying, chala loonga, is that funny?

The few lines that silent, steely Bholaa utters should have been written with far more impact.
Mumbling ‘majboori ko mauka bana diya’ hardly does it.

The camerawork is professional, even if it’s dark-lit all the time, but the overdose of grotesque close-ups does not up the ante on menace.

A splash of vibhuti (holy ash) on the forehead, a trident to the rescue and Varanasi by night are all unfortunately lost in the background noise and tiring action scenes.

Amala Paul as Bholaa’s wife in a flashback is refreshing with flashes of Deepika Padukone in her. But it’s too sketchy to make an impact.

The music too is a letdown. If one must have an item number, at least make that catchy, naughty, watchable, hummable. Lakshmi Rai’s routine moves, drab costume and humdrum composition make her item number a drag.

Devgn is a consummate actor who carries off the emotional with as much panache as his stylish fighting skills. But it would help if he had a dialogue expert on set or at dubbing to ensure that mumbling doesn’t translate into inaudible.

By the time there’s a lovely heart-tugging meeting of dad and daughter at the end, the viewer can’t wait to get away from the relentlessness of it all.

It doesn’t stop with that beautiful tender moment.

In Marvel style, as the credits roll, there’s promise of a sequel. With Abhishek Bachchan introduced in yet another grotesquely scarred get-up.

Somebody needed to write the simple Tamizh film Kaithi into a script with sparkle for Devgn.

Watch Bholaa Trailer:

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Lovely Emotional Core Drowned By ActionReview | Bholaa - Lovely Emotional Core Drowned By Action